“Didn’t he know you were chasing him?”
“I guess not. He never looked back.”
“What made you think of running after him?”
“One of the girls told me to. The way he ran out of the back door made her think there was something wrong.”
“Suppose he had turned round?”
“I guess I could have wrastled with him,” said Sam, to the amusement of those who heard him.
“It is well you were not obliged to.”
“Who shall I give the wallet to?” asked Sam.
“Mr. Gray, here, is the professor’s partner, and half the money belongs to him. You can give it to him.”
“Have I a right to take it?” asked Philip, who did not wish to do anything unlawful.
He was assured that, as the business partner of the professor, he had as much right as Riccabocca to the custody of the common fund.
“But half of it belongs to the professor.”
“He’ll come back for it, in the custody of the sheriff. I didn’t think I was doing the man a good turn when I telegraphed to have him stopped.”
The first thing Philip did was to take from his own funds a five-dollar bill, which he tendered to Sam.
“Is it all for me?” asked the boy, his eyes sparkling his joy.
“Yes; but for you I should probably have lost a good deal more. Thank you, besides.”
And Philip offered his hand to Sam, who grasped it fervently.
“I say, you’re a tip-top chap,” said Sam. “You ain’t like a man that lost a pocketbook last summer, with a hundred dollars in it, and gave me five cents for finding it.”
“No; I hope I’m not as mean as that,” said Philip, smiling.
He opened the wallet and found a memorandum containing an exact statement of the proceeds of the concert. This was of great service to him, as it enabled him to calculate his own share of the profits.
The aggregate receipts were one hundred and fifty dollars and fifty cents. Deducting bills paid, viz.:
Rent of hall........................ $5.00
Printing, etc........................ 5.00
Bill-poster ......................... 1.00
there was a balance of $138.50, of which Philip was entitled to one-half, namely, $69.25. This he took, together with the eleven dollars which he had himself paid to the creditors of the combination, and handed the wallet, with the remainder of the money, to Mr. Perry, landlord of the Knoxville Hotel, with a request that he would keep it till called for by Professor Riccabocca.
“You may hand me three dollars and a half, Mr. Perry,” said Mr. Gates. “That is the amount the professor owes me for a day and three-quarters at my hotel. If he makes a fuss, you can tell him he is quite at liberty to go to law about it.”
Meanwhile, where was the professor, and when did he discover his loss?